Enumclaw High School seniors Ryan Chynoweth, Michelle McKinlay, Sara Mongrain and Tyler Salsbury, along with school board student representative and junior Conner Wells were each recognized with a Superintendent's award during Monday's meeting of the Enumclaw School Board for their role in bringing to the community.
Superintendent Mike Nelson said the students represented a significant part of his own experience as he entered his sixth year as district superintendent. In his own endeavor to better reach out to the students that he indirectly oversees, the five medal winners, "touched my life. They have worked with me for over a year."
They are strong leaders "who were there from the very beginning," Nelson said.
School Board President Chris VanHoof also applauded the students for representing the Enumclaw community well to the Rachel's Challenge organization. They have ranked Enumclaw in the top two or three communities that have endeavored on Rachel's Challenge, VanHoof said, "and that's a tribute to you guys."
When asked if they have seen a difference since Rachel's Challenge began, Salsbury said he did. He said he remembers feeling intimidated entering high school himself but in speaking with other students, he reported, "kids were scared to come to school" which was surprising. As a senior how, he said the school does feel safer.
Chynoweth reported that as students tried to pool the paper links, some people were rather possessive about their links and wanted to keep them in a specific classroom or area of the school.
School Board member Nancy Merrill asked if the students had ideas for how to continue the message of Rachel's Challege. McKinlay said she'd expect to see the effort continue, for students to step up particularly as the new class of freshmen enter next year.
The students will wear their medals during their graduation ceremony in June.
In Other News:
Last Day of School: Nelson reported that barring any more inclement weather days, the last day of school for K-11 will be June 19. Per Gov. Chris Gregoire's declaration of emergency on Jan. 18 due to the snow and ice storms, the district was seeking to waive Jan. 19 and Jan. 20 of student time. The two days would be used for staff development to get training going with new equipment implemented thanks to the voter-approved technology levy, he said.
Audit Done: The district completed its State Auditor's review and exit interview. School Board member Tina McGann reported that all was in compliance and thanked district administration and staff for their work in providing data and information.
New Appointment: Nelson introduced Stephanie Berryhill as the district's new Director of Human Relations and Support Systems. Berryhill will take the place of Kathy Lockyer, who is retiring at the end of the school year.
Affirmative Action: Lockyer provided an updated affirmative action report on district hiring to the Board. The district has some recruiting to do in the future, she said. The good news is "people stay here. When they get jobs in Enumclaw, they don't leave."
Donations: The Board approved a $1,000 donation from Farwest Fabrication to be used for the Special Education Firewall Grant, and $700 from the Black Diamond PTA to Black Diamond Elementary School to be used for art supplies.
Expenditures: The Board approved payroll and vouchers including $20,307 to McGann Electronics, LLC. McGann recused herself from the vote because this is her family's company. District business and operations director Tim Madden explained that the vendor was chosen through a bidding process through an interlocal agreement with ESD 112's Construction Services Group.
Supporting K-12 Education: The Board approved a resolution authorizing financial support of The Network for Excellence in Washington Schools (NEWS), which Nelson said was instrumental in seeing through the recent in the Washington state Supreme Court that found that K-12 was not being adequately funded by state lawmakers.
Maintaining Facilities: The Board approved a resolution solidifying a process of documenting the district's efforts to maintain facilities that were in part paid for by state matches post 1994. This includes Thunder Mountain Middle School and a remodel at Enumclaw High School. Madden said the district already does this but the resolution calls for a formal asset preservation program to be put in place and reported to OSPI every six years.